Anime: PONYO

Available on DVD at Prosper Community Library!

Streaming:  Amazon (not Prime, but can rent), HBO Max

Ponyo was created by Japanese director, animator, and writer Hayao Miyazaki and his animation studio Studio Ghibli.  As you’ve probably already guessed, Ponyo is Miyazaki’s original retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.  By the end of Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, the titular character (she is never actually given a name!) has been rejected by the prince and dissolves into sea foam.  It is incredibly sad!

Ponyo will probably remind you of another read-headed little mermaid, and it is hard to avoid that comparison!  After all, Miyazaki is considered the “Walt Disney” of Japan both in terms of his creativity and his dominance of the Japanese animated film industry.

Part of what makes Miyazaki’s animated films so compelling is the way that they realistically depict imaginary worlds and characters.  How do Studio Ghibli animators do that?

Watch this video to learn more about The Immersive Realism of Studio Ghibli:

Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are responsible for many Japanese animated movies that are popular all over the world, including the United States.  In 2001, Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won the 2001 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.  Spirited Away was the first – and remains the only – hand-drawn, non-English language animated film to have won that Oscar.

If you haven’t seen Spirited Away yet, you can borrow it from the Prosper Community Library!  We also have other Ghibli films:

  • Howl’s Moving Castle – J DVD HOW
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service – J DVD KIK
  • Spirited Away – J DVD SPI
  • When Marnie Was There – J DVD WHE

If you like this anime, borrow these from PCL:


  • The Boy and the Beast – YA GN HOS
  • Demon Slayer – YA GN GOT
  • Erased – YA GN SAN
  • Fullmetal Alchemist – YA GN ARA
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise – YA GN AOK
  • Naruto – YA GN KIS
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun – YA GN AID

Anime DVD:

  • Bananya – J DVD BAN
  • Bleach – DVD BLE
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service – J DVD KIK
  • Maquia – DVD MAQ
  • My Bride is a Mermaid – DVD MY
  • Naruto – DVD NAR
  • One Piece – DVD ONE
  • Penguin Highway – DVD PEN
  • Princess Jellyfish – DVD PRI
  • Spirited Away – J DVD SPI

Careers in Anime: 

“How can I turn my love of anime, manga, Japanese culture into a job?”

Become a Video Game Developer!

Borrow these from Prosper Community Library to learn more about making video games!

  • The Big Book of Makerspace Projects by Colleen Graves – YA 621 GRA
  • Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting it Done – YA 005.1 GON
  • Girls Who Code by Reshma Saujani – J 005.102 SAU
  • How to Code by Max Wainewright – J 005.1 WAI
  • Mobile Gaming: Go Play! By Tim Bogeman – YA 794.8 BOG
  • Tetris: The Games People Play – YA GN BRO

I hope that you enjoyed learning more about Hayao Miyazaki’s retelling of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen.  Join us next time as we resurface for a more realistic anime depiction of daily life in Japan.


Katie Deeds

Youth Services Librarian – Prosper Community Library